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|Articles - September 2013|
|Monday, August 19, 2013|
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Today, however, competitive pressure in the sex industry has led to variety — and in Oregon, that variety comes with a distinctly Portlandia flavor. But first, some background: Oregon has earned a national, if dubious, reputation as a strip-club mecca, one that is good at delivering supply to a base demand. The state is second in clubs per capita, while Portland is first in strip clubs amongst the 50 largest U.S. cities — 9 per 100,000 inhabitants.
Strip clubs are a fantastically lucrative U.S. business segment, expected to take in $7.8 billion in 2013, according to market-research firm IBISWorld. And in Oregon, the free-speech guarantee in the state constitution is broader than the federal First Amendment, and several consecutive rulings by the Oregon Supreme Court continue to uphold our right not only to say and write what we want, but also to bare all, either on city streets à la the World Naked Bike Ride or in exotic dance locales around the state.
The result is a diverse and expanding array of offerings. The Portland Metro area, for example, sports a vegan strip club (Casa Diablo); juice-bar strip clubs marketing to the under-21 crowd (such as Jiggles in Tualatin); the nearly 60-year-old Mary’s Club, in business since 1954; and even Stripperoke, combining strippers with patrons singing karaoke (Devils Point).
“I thought it had potential — let’s make it friendly for everybody, throw some parties, and, oh, yeah, we also have naked girls onstage,” says Shon Boulden, 35, part-owner of Devils Point. In 2008 Boulden converted what was previously a simple dive bar at the Devil’s Point location in Southeast Portland into a strip club — expressly to avoid closure, he says.
At Devils Point, naked fire dancers were initially the novelty helping the club stay competitive. Outlawed in 2011 by new fire regulations, fire dancers were supplanted by Stripperoke, and the combination of stripping women with customers belting out popular tunes has earned Devils Point national notoriety.
The media attention has also helped attract a new clientele — women. “A lot of times you’ll see just as many females sitting at the ‘rack’ [clubs’ stage-side seating] as you do males,” Boulden says, adding that the formula for making money at these businesses hasn’t changed — alcohol sales and tips to dancers drive profits and income. Nevertheless, “Devils Point is not predominantly a male-oriented place.”
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT
The Knight challenge is an important instance of philanthropy. But we should not assume it will magically transform OHSU into a business- and job-spinning engine for the local economy.
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN
As baby boomers sell their businesses, too many forget the all-important succession plan.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Baseball is returning to Portland and city officials are hoping economic opportunity comes with it.
Thursday, April 30, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR
Earlier this week we posted an article from our May issue: It’s a Man's Man’s Man’s World. The story covered the gender divide in tech from the perspective of male workers. Twitter didn’t like it.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
A conversation with Craig Wanichek, president and CEO of Summit Bank.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
BY APRIL STREETER
How the private sector can ride the next transit revolution.
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
A longtime technologist and entrepreneur, Dwayne Johnson, 53, is managing partner of PDXO/GlobeThree Ventures, a strategy and business consultancy in Portland.
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